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Medieval Recipe Translations

Potage for somer season

PERIOD: England, 1500 | SOURCE: A noble boke of festes ryalle and Cokery | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: A pottage of pork, veal, & almond milk, coloured with violets

This translation and recipe have a rebuttal by Jeff Berry. Please click here for the rebuttal.


Potage for somer season.

Take felettes of porke and of vele welle beten in a morter rawe / and in the betynge alaye thy flesshe with egges / thanne take up the flessh in a fayre vessell and put therto pouder of clowes pouder of peper & salte colour it with saffron & meddle it well togyder thanne make therof smale vylottes and put therin in the panne with water boylynge on the fyre / & whan they be well boyled put therin to a fayre vessell / thanne take almonde mylke made with broth of fresshe beef & put it in to a fayre potte / do therto clowes maces pruynes raysyns of corans & gynger mynced grete: than sette the potte on the fire & styre it well togyder & put the vylottes in the potte & lete therin have one boylle or two & coloure it cawdell hewe and salte it and serue it.

- A noble boke of festes ryalle and Cokery. London: Richard Pynson, 1500.


Pottage for summer season.

Take fillets of pork and of veal well beaten in a mortar raw / and in the beating allay your flesh with eggs / then take up the flesh in a fair vessel and put thereto powder of cloves powder of pepper & salt colour it with saffron & mix it well together then make thereof small violets and put therein in the pan with water boiling on the fire / & when they be well boiled put therein to a fair vessel / then take almond milk made with broth of fresh beef & put it into a fair pot / do thereto cloves maces prunes raisins of Coraunce & ginger minced great: then set the pot on the fire & stir it well together & put the violets in the pot & let therein have one boil or two & colour it caudle hew and salt it and serve it.


  • Pork or veal fillets OR: raw ground pork or veal
  • Eggs
  • Cloves - powdered
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Saffron
  • Violets
  • Almond Milk - made with beef broth
  • Cloves - whole
  • Mace
  • Prunes
  • Currants
  • Ginger - whole, not powder, minced very small

If using fillets, chop or mince the meat very small. By hand in a mortar with pestle, or in a food processor or blender, thoroughly combine the meat & eggs into one homogenous mass. Place in a large soup pot or saucepan & season it with cloves, pepper, & salt, & add saffron for colouring. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, boil the violets gently until they are just tender or softened. Remove from the water and set aside.

Make the almond milk according to the instructions HERE, using beef broth instead of water.

In the large soup pot or saucepan containing the meat & eggs, combine the almond milk and meat & egg mixture into a smooth, thick mass. Add a few cloves, the mace, prunes, currants, & ginger. Blend well. Bring to a soft boil, the reduce heat. Simmer until the meat and eggs are completely cooked. Add the violets and continue to simmer for several more minutes. (The violets will add a light purplish shade; it may further be coloured with additional saffron.)

Remove the pottage from the pot and mold into a pudding or meatloaf shape. Slice it into individual serving portions and serve. Allow the diners to salt to taste as needed.

A caudle was an ale or wine based drink; however, an alternative meaning is found in the Middle English Dictionary:

Caudel, cadel, caudell - (a) A hot fortified drink, esp. one containing spiced wine or ale; also, a broth; (b) a pudding, meat loaf, or the like; (c) a mess.

To "cawdell hewe and salte it and serue it" means to shape the mixture like a pudding or meat loaf, slice it into serving portions, slightly salt the slices and then serve them.

Middle English Dictionary. University of Michigan Press. <http://ets.umdl.umich.edu/m/med/>


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Potage for somer season © 2003 James L. Matterer

Medieval Recipe Translations

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